HELPER – The initial game for the St. George Sentinels in the Utah American Legion Southern Regional was anticlimactic. The No. 2 seed won convincingly over the No. 7 seed Price 22-0.
“We did not score in the first inning,” Sentinels head coach Shane Johanson said. “But we put up 11 runs in the second and from that point on we kept scoring. We finally took our foot off the gas and eased up at the end.”
St. George added seven runs in the third inning and four more runs in the final inning of the shortened game.
“All of our guys hit well tonight,” Johanson said. “Weston Sampson had two extra-base hits. Ryke Erickson and Alec Flemetakis led the team with three hits apiece.”
Trey Allred, Payton Higgins and Erickson each scored four runs. Erickson also led the team with four stolen bases.
St. George got great pitching from starter Cooper Madison and the bullpen.
“We only gave up two hits the whole night,” Johanson said. “Price is a really young, inexperienced team. Tomorrow night’s game will be tougher.”
St. George now faces No. 4 seed Vernal in the semifinals. During the season the two teams split. The Sentinels dropped a 6-4 decision to Vernal in the first game of the summer. They bounced back against them two weeks later with a 10-3 win on June 17.
Vernal advanced earlier Thursday by beating the fifth seed, Roosevelt, in the first quarterfinal 10-9. After trailing 9-1 in the first inning Vernal eked back and won the game on a two-run double in the bottom of the final inning.
“Vernal was trying to save their pitching for tomorrow’s game against us,” Johanson said. “But Roosevelt put up nine runs in the first inning so they had to make some adjustments.”
The likely starter for the Sentinels Friday will be Flemetakis.
“If we win tomorrow night we are guaranteed a spot in the state tournament,” Johanson said. “The final games of the regional will determine seeding.”
Game time for Friday night’s game at Helper Field is 5:30 p.m.
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